The responsibility of California’s Drinking Water Operator Certification Program (DWOCP) has been transferred from the California Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) resulting in changes to the program. Those changes include the addition of Administrative Civil Liabilities (in the form of fines or other actions) for Water Treatment and Water Distribution Operators.

Penalties range from $100 per day to $5,000 for each violation, depending on the type of infraction.

Violations may include but are not limited to:

  • Operating without a valid or expired certification of the appropriate grade;
  • Use of fraud or deception in the course of operating a water distribution system;
  • Willful or negligent  acts that cause or allow a violation of the federal or California Safe Drinking Water Act or the regulations or standards adopted pursuant to either act.

For questions, please contact the Drinking Water Operator Certification Program at (916) 449-5611 or e-mail them at

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